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RUSH TO ASSESSMENT: Designing Assessment to Produce Failure Roberta Madison, Gloria Melara and Robert Lingard Session Overview An example of a recent assessment project at CSUN A group activity designed to gain insight into effective approaches to assessment

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rush to assessment
RUSH TO ASSESSMENT:

Designing Assessment to Produce Failure

Roberta Madison, Gloria Melara

and Robert Lingard

3/12/2003

session overview
Session Overview
  • An example of a recent assessment project at CSUN
  • A group activity designed to gain insight into effective approaches to assessment
  • Summary and review of group results

3/12/2003

session objectives
Session Objectives

At the end of the session participants should be able to:

  • Identify potential problems in designing outcomes assessment
  • Select/create appropriate assessment measures and tools
  • Identify the steps in designing a productive assessment project

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common problems in assessment
Common Problems in Assessment
  • Assessment results are often needed quickly
  • Insufficient resources (people, tools, etc.) are usually applied
  • Assessment is sometimes viewed as an end in itself (e.g., an accreditation team must be convinced that assessment is being done)

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an assessment example
An Assessment Example
  • Examine an approach taken toward assessing Computer Literacy at CSUN
  • Look at the difficulties and problems encountered
  • Suggest some recommendations for improving the assessment process

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why was computer literacy chosen for assessment
Why Was Computer Literacy Chosen for Assessment?
  • Ensuring the Computer Literacy of students was viewed as an important University goal
  • The effectiveness of CSUN’s general education course in Computer Literacy was unknown

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the approach taken
The Approach Taken
  • To get results quickly, an existing instrument, TekXam, was selected to measure student’s computer skills
  • Students taking the General Education course in Computer Literacy and a control group not taking this course were given pre tests and post tests
  • The results were analyzed

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study results
Study Results

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problems encountered
Problems Encountered
  • The TekXam instrument did not test what our Computer Literacy course covered
  • TekXam was difficult for students to use
  • Administration of TekXam was tedious and rigid
  • Student participation rate was low

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conclusions and recommendations
Conclusions and Recommendations
  • A clear definition of Computer Literacy is needed before it can be assessed
  • Clear (measurable) objectives need to be established for the assessment
  • Incentives are needed to increase student participation
  • Better assessment tools are needed

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a sample problem
A Sample Problem
  • Assume you are given the task of assessing the effectiveness of online instruction for a particular program
  • What needs to be done?

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first group task risk analysis
First Group Task(Risk Analysis)
  • Identify potential problems or obstacles that might be encountered in trying to do this assessment
  • List them in order of importance (high probability & high impact)

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second group task
Second Group Task
  • For one of the problems identified suggest possible solutions
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of each solution

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how can we ensure a successful assessment
How Can We Ensure a Successful Assessment?
  • Make sure the goal of the assessment is clearly understood
  • Establish measurable objectives toward achieving the goal
  • Determine how to measure each objective (in multiple ways)

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slide18

GOAL

OBJECTIVE

OBJECTIVE

OBJECTIVE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

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slide19

OBJECTIVE

DATA

DATA

DATA

DATA

DATA

DATA

DATA

DATA

DATA

ANALYZE

GOAL

Obstacles

CHANGES?

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

MEASURE

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final group task
Final Group Task
  • Suppose your task was to assess the effectiveness of online instruction in teaching written composition
  • Specify one measurable objective and identify two or more ways to measure it.

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measurable objective example
Measurable Objective Example

Students will be able to write a grammatically correct English sentence with a subject and a verb.

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conclusions
Conclusions
  • A successful assessment project must be carefully planned with sufficient resources allocated (we must avoid rushing to assessment)
  • The goal or goals of the assessment must be clearly understood
  • Specific measurable objectives must be established
  • Appropriate tools must be found/created to measure each objective in multiple ways

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references
References
  • A short class feedback/assessment. It assesses students’ perception of the classroom environment. http://www.cod.edu/outcomes/SoaClsDs/StopStartCont_Assessment.PDF

http://www.cod.edu/outcomes/SoaClsDs/feedback.PDF

  • This assessment activity clarifies expectations and mutual responsibilities for student learning and success.

http://home.att.net/~p.klassen/SuccessAttribution.htm

  • An extensive list of many college assessment sites from North Carolina State University http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/UPA/assmt/resource.htm
  • Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning from AAHE, Alexander W. Astin, et.al http://www.aahe.org/assessment/principl.htm
  • A good resource with information from classroom to institutional assessment

http://www.cod.edu/Dept/Outcomes/AssessmentBook.pdfhttp://www.cod.edu/Outcomes/

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contact information
Contact Information
  • Roberta Madison

- roberta.madison@csun.edu

  • Gloria Melara

- gem@ecs.csun.edu

  • Robert Lingard

- rlingard@ecs.csun.edu

3/12/2003